While the best riders in the world were racing (KHS ARMY), the guys and I stopped by the KHS Bicycles booth to say “Que Paso” to our buddy, and KHS Team Manager, Quinton Spaulding.
He started showing us around the tent by starting of with some of the bikes that the Pros ride. Unfortunately “My Girl” Melissa Buhl wasn’t there, but I made sure I got a picture of her KHS Lucky 7.
We spent some time with Quinton, or “Q” and he gave us a break down on a few team tips/techniques that helps the KHS Army win race after race. For one, he told us that Kenda provides them up to 200 tires per season and that they don’t ride with a set of tires no more than 1 race. After a race, they replace those for a new set. Plus if they get a flat, they immediately replace the tires, they don’t bother using them afterwards. He also went into great detail about going tubeless. Apparently running tubeless gives the rider a better feel of the terrain and the bike is more responsive, plus he mentioned that you get a “true” feel of what PSI you should be running.
Here’s Q with one of the DH bikes.
Another interesting thing he had told us was that they use the XCT 555, a XC bike in the dual slalom and sometimes as a DH bike. He talked about how the “little” bikes such as the XCT are perfect for smaller courses and the big bikes such as the DH200 are used for courses that are gnarlier and harder.
I then noticed that they were running Kenda Small Blocks on the rear tire of most of their bikes. If you didn’t know this, (I didn’t either until Jeremy educated me) but the Small Blocks are great fast rolling tires for XC and they’re super light. They’re not the greatest in hooking up, but they’ll propel a rider down the trail really fast. I’m going to take a guess and say that they were running 2.35′s in the back and perhaps a 2.4′s in the front. But the front tire used were some big Kenda DH tires. Q mentioned that they use the fast rolling tires in the back to get the riders moving quickly and explained that when you’re cornering, the front wheel is the one that will dictate where your bike will be. So rule of thumb, fast rolling in the back, and grippy tire in the front!
Here’s Moe and Q with the DH200.
Thanks again to Q for hanging out with us, a super cool guy!